2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 15

I guess slugging through last week’s increase in mileage paid off because this week’s training felt a lot easier despite increasing my run days and mileage by close to 12 miles. Here’s a recap of Peak week:

MONDAY

Since I had done my long run on Saturday instead of Sunday the previous week, Monday was not a rest day but a run day. I hadn’t ran with Pacers 14th street for a while so I ran to the store, then ran 3 miles with the group and then ran home for a total of 8 miles.

TUESDAY

One of my favourite group run every month is Shake Shack Track & Field. I ran with the 5 miles group and earned my burger! 

WEDNESDAY

Run-muted 8 miles down the Capital Crescent Trail. I was worried about the heat and while it was hot and humid, the trail is pretty covered. I should have worried about cyclists more! Clearly the route is popular with bike commuters.

I was passed by a gazillion bikes but didn’t see many other runners. Oh, and it rained actually towards the end. I didn’t mid that at all 😉  

THURSDAY

We had a small group at track and the workout was rough (2400m, 200m, 2x 1600m) but I actually really enjoyed it and got to catch up with my neighbor Kara (Kara literally lives next door to me!). Afterwards I ran (figuratively this time) to Calla’s to watch the democratic debate. We had pizza from Tino’s Pizzeria (I loved the Can I Smoke? with tomato, finocchiona, smoked scamorza, aged provolone, fennel <– love fennel so much!) and drank Ricky Rosé, a barrel aged sour with blackberries by 3 Stars Brewing Company and Other Half Brewing.

FRIDAY

Time to take a break from running! I tried a new (to me) spin studio, Zengo Cycle. The first class was free so I figured I’d give it a try (the studios are on class pass too.) It was a good workout but I couldn’t get over the lack of technology — no screen, no way to tell my RPM or how many miles I had biked. I think Flywheels and Cyclebar are definitely more up my alley but I’m glad I tried something different. 

SATURDAY

Racing the day before your 20-miler is probably not ideal but I really wanted to participate in the Four Seasons’ Race to Beat Cancer. Pacers had an awesome team and I didn’t push myself too much, finishing the 5K in 32 minutes.

SUNDAY

I was dreading running my twenty miler and debated until the last minute if I would run with my =PR=DC DTP group or not. I was kinda set on a route I had mapped out and, in the end, my friend Jessica humoured and ran it with me. This was two weekend in a row running with another person and I don’t know why I haven’t been doing it more often (well, I kinda know and it has to do with being slow and not having a ton of people I can run with.) Jessica did 18 miles and I did 20 in 4 hours. I guess I’m kinda ready for Berlin now (and looking at a 5+ hours finish again sadly…)

About the route — one of my favourite local trail is the Mount Vernon Trail but I’d never taken it much further beyond Ronald Reagan National Airport. Last weekend one my insta/strava friend Ned / airbus777 posted his running route from National Harbor back to DC and I was kinda obsessed with doing something similar, though I wasn’t sure about crossing Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge. Ned had actually ubered to National Habor then ran home and I wanted to do it as an out-and-back so I tweaked it accordingly. We ran mostly along the water — and got quite a bit of real estate envy, there are some gorgeous townhouses facing the water! — all the way to Jones Point, south of Old Town Alexandria. Back when D.C. included bits of Virginia, Jones Point was the tip of the federal district and we got to check out the original stone markers that marked its historical boundaries.  There used to be 40 of those stone markers and 36 are still standing, including 2 right by my office in Friendship Heights. I actually totally want to run my way to more of them now!

Bilan de la semaine/mois: I did everything I set out to accomplish and felt much better checking off items on my training plan than I did the week better. I ran a total of 81.1km/50 miles (up from 62.4km/38.7 miles the week better) and took one spin class for cross training. I’m feeling a lot better going into taper and Berlin! 

What I’m watching/reading/listening to:  So I actually really enjoyed doing last week and this week’s long run with company BUT making conversation also means not listening to audio books… as a result I don’t have a lot to report on the book front. I did turn on my T.V. to watch Chelsea Handler’s documentary Hello Privilege, It’s Me Chelsea! on Netflix. Like Chelsea, I’ve been on a bit of a journey to understand how I’ve benefited from white privilege and from a system of systemic racism so I can be a better ally to people of color. I still have a long way to go… and I think so does Chelsea Handler… 

What I’m eating/drinking:  

I’m still on a bit of a vegan baking kick and made Chocolate Covered Katie’s pumpkin banana bread ahead of my long run. I had two slices prior to my long run and didn’t feel as hungry as I did the weekend prior. Also, it’s delicious!! Katie runs with pacers Navy Yards sometimes and her blog has gone a long way to make me think than vegan food can be fun and tasty!

What I’m looking forward to on week 16: It’s finally time to slow things down and start tapering!! 

Still linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. I love checking in on everyone’s week and training. Hope you do too! 

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 14

Hello September (a.k.a. MARATHON MONTH!!) Here’s how the first week of fall went (yes, there was pumpkin spice involved lol):

MONDAY

Rest day 😴

TUESDAY

Ran 3 miles to Pacers Navy Yards and then ran an additional 5 miles with the group for a total of 12.91 km / 8 miles. It was rough. 

WEDNESDAY

Run-mute down Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenue. I struggled the whole way (when I saw that the Bank of America thermometer at Dupont Circle showed 96 degrees I understood why!) I hated everything about this run, but I got it done which was basically my theme this week. 

THURSDAY

I had a work event at the French Embassy in the evening, so I knew I would miss track AND had to get my run done early. I did 8.5 miles / 13.7 km along parts of the mall and East Potomac Park and hated every minute of it, though it wasn’t as hot at least.

FRIDAY

Since I was having such a hard time with my runs, I thought I could use a little break before tackling longer distances on Saturday and took Christine’s 8AM spin class at Flywheels. I definitely think that was a good call! In the evening, I had a quiet dinner with Calla at Nicolette Italian Kitchen, a new(ish) Italian restaurant close to my place so I could be all carbed up and well rested before my long run in the morning!

SATURDAY

I decided to join the November Project DC’s Long Run Crew for the first time and that was such a good decision.

The route was a bit weird, two 8 mile loops, one pretty straightforward going around the capitol, along the mall to the Lincoln Memorial, up Rock Creek park until Pennsylvania Avenue then down K street and Massachusetts avenue back to Union Station (that loop meant I was able to stop home for my bathroom break!!). The second had us go to the Arboretum and then run around there for however much we needed before ending at Union Market for some post run treats.

It *never* happens to me, but I had people to run with!! Manuela, who planned the route, and Ari who is training for the Marine Corps Marathon, both ran at my pace. We lost Manuela at the Arboretum but Ari and I ran the whole 17 miles together which was awesome.

It forced me to push myself, not give up and take walk breaks, make small talk… I should clearly do this more often 😉

SUNDAY

Rest(ish) day. Corey and I ended up walking 10 miles that day… 3 in the morning walking his dog Stout, then almost 5 miles shadowing the GO Ruck light 911 commemorative work out around the Pentagon. And then a few more along the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria.

I kinda wish I could have done a bit of a shake out run, but it was a fun day (though deceivingly hot!)

Bilan de la semaine/mois: I started the week feeling so sluggish, dragging through my runs but ended on a solid note with a great long run (stats for the week: 62.4km/38.7 miles)! I’m feeling pretty good going into peak training week! Though I’m a little worried about that 20 miler!

What I’m watching/reading/listening to:  I finished Modern Lovers (I was doing this one half on my kindle, half on audiobook) during my 8 miles run on Thursday and I don’t really have another audio book queued up… since I had someone to talk to during my long run on Sunday, that was fine, but now i *need* to figure out a new read before all my runs this week…. help!

What I’m eating/drinking:  First pumpkin drink of the season! I tried Starbucks®’ Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew now that it’s September and I can do fall things. It was ok… at 250 calories a grande, I won’t be making this indulgence a regular habit.

What I’m looking forward to on week 15: Peak week!! Last week, I only did one of the two 5 miler I was supposed to do so this week, I am doing all 4 of my runs (2 x 8 miles, 2 x 5 miles), track + my 20 miles long run. Taper is just around the corner, I just gotta push it through one more week of increase! Wish me luck! 

Still linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. I love checking in on everyone’s week and training. Hope you do too! 

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 13

So Berlin is less than 30 days away now. Can I freak out now??

MONDAY

Rest day.

TUESDAY

Double work out day! I kicked off the day at Cyclebar NoMa with a spin class and ended with an 8.41km/5.2 miles run with Pacers Navy Yards.

I should have cut it at 6.5 km/4 miles but we were running the Brooks Best Fest DC segment again and I just didn’t have it in me to make it a 6 miler… 

WEDNESDAY

Yoga on the run is one of my favourite local run here in D.C. We start at Summit to Soul on Capitol Hill and run to East Side Yoga for a 20 minute stretch session. And then we run back.

I *really* needed the stretch, I felt super tight. I actually ran to Summit to Soul as well for a few extra miles, rounding it up at 6.6km/4.1 miles.

THURSDAY

Made my “triumphant” return to track. We ran 1000m’s so it was a tough workout! I did 5 rounds + warm up and cool down for a total of 6.2km. And didn’t get hit by a football or kicked by a cheerleader. Major victory !

FRIDAY

Is Friday runmute becoming a thing for me? I ran home from work down Reno Avenue (where I am reminded that I am poor by all the glorious mansions and fancy houses) and Rock Creek Park (6 miles/9.6 km). It was 90 degrees. It was miserable. Once I got to 6 miles and not one feet more I jumped in the circulator. I didn’t have anymore miles in me 😦

SATURDAY

I spent the night in Crystal City. Corey had his own trail run that morning and I wanted to go to the National Book Festival so I ran home from his place (7 miles/11.3 km). I love the Mount Vernon Trail and bumped into a bunch of fellow runners, which was fun. I had *just* enough time to grab a Call Your Mother bagel from the farmers’ market, shower and find a seat in the Rebecca Makai presentation! It was a beautiful afternoon, so after that it was pool and reading time!

SUNDAY

LONG RUN I’m trying to be mindful about not increasing my mileage too much so I did 15 miles / 24.4 km for my long run. It was not an easy run and I took lots of small walk breaks. But it was my longest run so far this year and I got it done!

Bilan de la semaine/mois: Solid week (66.5 km/ 41 miles — up from 55 km / 34 miles last week) though my legs definitely feel tired. I wrapped up August at 144.3 km /89.6 miles, which isn’t bad given how much of it I sat out but is still not where I should have been at this time in my marathon training.

What I’m watching/reading/listening to:  I have not turned on my television in sooo long 😉 But I have been reading. This week I went through 4 books pretty quickly: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by maria Semple (SO fun!), Wish You The Best by Mason Deaver (a YA book about a non-binary teen) and Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America by Alissa Quart (<– that book was an interesting complement to maid and A Fighting Chance though it definitely left me feeling gloomy) and White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard for white People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo.

Squeezed and White Fragility were audiobooks. More running means more time to listen to more audiobooks 😉 

What I’m eating/drinking:  So I’m really trying to nail down my pre-marathon breakfast, especially since I’ll be traveling and staying at a hotel in a foreign country where I may or may not have access to a fridge/microwave. Before Sunday’s run I had a buttermilk and maple flapjack cup by Kodiak (my go-to pre race) and a banana. I was starving mid-way. So I’ll be trying something different this week…

On Sunday, Calla and I went to an apple festival at Great Country Farm. It was fun but a little too kid-focused. There was a brand new brewery across the road though, Dirt Farm Brewery, so we checked that out. The views were fabulous, but the beers just ok. We stopped by B Chord Brewing Company as well. The drinks, pictured above, were MUCH better!! 

What I’m looking forward to on week 14: I’ll be increasing my week day distances: 1×5 miles and 2×8 miles with a 17-18 miles long run on the weekend.  I’ll be trying to do my long run on Saturday for a change and so I will only be able to do 3 runs during the week, which is ok I think, I’ll still end the week at 38-39 miles and hopefully be better rested for a full last week of training (then tapper!!!) 

I posted this recap a bit late, so I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down, but you still check out their posts and everyone else’s! Have a great week!

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 12

Week 12 of my 18 weeks training plan… and 1 of my “cramming for Berlin in 6 weeks” new plan! Here’s how it went:

MONDAY

My friend Rico had his annual BBQ Sunday afternoon. He’s in the business of making people drink (at Tiki TNT & Potomac Distilling Company right now). Most of his friends work in the industry. I had a lot of fun. Most of them have Monday off… and yeah, Monday was an unplanned rest day for me 😉

TUESDAY

Back to the plan! Since I had skipped Monday I thought I’d do the 6 miles run instead of the 4 miles run to kick off the week. I tried to run the “Brooks Best Fest DC” segment, a 0.8km segment of National Mall that earns you a special badge and “World’s Best Runner” mug, but failed. I still had a good, if slow, 10.4km run. It was soooooo hot though, but it was good to get back out there.

WEDNESDAY

I did the “Brooks Best Fest DC” segment right this time during my 6.6km run. In addition to earning a cool mug, this training run helped me reach a milestone: I have run 1000km to date in 2019. 619 to go to reach my 1000 miles in 2019 goal!! 

THURSDAY

Last week I was all about the running group to remind myself that running is fun as I was getting back into it. This week I wanted to focus on me and what I needed to do, without stressing out about being slow and running so far behind everyone. Also, it was really hot in DC and most groups meet after work when it’s super hot… and I thought morning runs would be better at this point. I slept terribly Wednesday night, so I didn’t feel like running in the morning and set out on my own around 6PM instead. I looped around the capitol, decided to go down towards Navy Yards and along the water to the Wharf. My plan was to make my way back home via the Mall but I bumped into the group from Pacers Navy Yards at the Fish Market and so I ended up running back to the store with Ian. That meant my run was a little short at 9.6km / 5.96 miles. But it was nice chatting with everyone at Bluejacket afterwards though…

FRIDAY

So back a few months ago, I signed up for the Lululemon Seawheeze Virtual Half Marathon. It was $25 and you got a medal and I figured I’d be running over 21.1km during that time frame anyway. Well, fast forward to me not really being able to run for the past 5 weeks and suddenly running a half marathon felt like a bit of an insurmountable chore. But I was determined to do it, even if I walked a bit of it. Since I had a busy weekend ahead, I decided to do it (and my long run for the week) as a run commute. I thought it might be too hot at 4PM but it was actually kinda cold and if it weren’t for the pouring rain at time it would have been perfect running weather. It wasn’t pretty… but I got it done (and a lot of A Fighting Chance while I was at it!)

SATURDAY

12 Stories, the newest addition to the bar scene at the Wharf, teamed up with its namaste-loving neighbor, Yoga Factory, for a free rooftop yoga class. After my long run the day before, it was JUST what I needed… and the nearly 360-degree view of the Potomac and the Washington skyline are just stunning. I absolutely will have to come back for a drink soon (maybe after marathon training lol)!

Saturday night, of course, was the annual Diner en Blanc. After last year’s disappointing event at Nats Stadium, the 2019 edition — back on Pennsylvania Avenue but near Freedom Plaza this time — was everything DeB is supposed to be and I had so much fun! 

Photo credit: Eric Vitale Photography. I’m in there somewhere lol

SUNDAY

LONG RUN RECOVERY SUNDAY I really wish this could have been a rest day, but since I already took Monday off, I had to get a run in. Managed a slow 6.9km to round up the week at 55 kilometers!

Bilan de la semaine: Finally! A good week. I stuck to my plan: 2 x 4 miles, 2 x 6 miles and a long run of 12+ kilometers for a total of 55 kilometers / 34 miles. I took a yoga class.  And most importantly: I felt good throughout the whole week. Of course, I’m taking it pretty easy, running slow(er than usual). But I’m running and getting it done!

What I’m watching/reading/listening to:  I finished two books this week: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai and Elizabeth Warren’s A Fighting Chance, which I listened to on Overdrive during many of my run.

I don’t know if this reflects personal preferences at this point, but most of the other candidates’ books felt like chores I had to force myself to get through and this one was almost a page turner. Going to take a bit of a break from the political books and then tackle Bernie Sanders. Can’t wait to have him scream in my ears 😉

What I’m eating/drinking:  Calla and I wrapped up the weekend at Anju, which was having a preview event before its official opening. I love trying all the Korean food. The restaurant (in the former Mandu space) is SO inviting. I loved the Yukhoe (I love me some raw meat!) and the mandus, which were completely different from the ones from Mandu. 

What I’m looking forward to on week 13: More of the same really, and more painfree running. I’ll be sticking with the same distances during the week (2x4miles and 2×6 miles) and hopefully a 15 miles long run. I didn’t do much cross training this week, focusing on getting back into running instead, so I’m definitely looking forward to some spin class and maybe an Orange Theory class next week.

 I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. Have a great week!

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 11

This week was my last week of “run to recovery” progression runs. Here’s how it went:

MONDAY

I’m only supposed to run 30 minutes at a time as part of my run-to-recovery progression but I’ve been doing a little more lately, basically rounding up the mileage to 5K. Monday morning I ran exactly 5K alternating 1 minute walk with 4 minute jog. I must say I wasn’t a fan of being back in the D.C. humidity! 

TUESDAY

It was an Avicii vs Little Mix themed class at Cyclebar and though I have no idea who Little Mix is, I took the class because I was still on a high from Saturday’s awesome 2000s themed class and Shane is my favourite instructor anyway. It was definitely a great class, though I finished in the middle of the pack, as I usually do, this time. 

In the evening, it was Shack and Track with Pacers! I did 2.2 km (a little over a mile) with Elyse, stopping only at traffic signs. It was hot and humid but this is always a super fun group run!

WEDNESDAY

My grand return to run clubs continued today with Summit to Soul’s Hill Runners. I stayed mostly in the back of the pack, running 4:30 minutes and walking 30 seconds. How I missed those Capitol Hill pics (but not the hills!!).

THURSDAY

Another day, another run club, this time Pacers’ Navy Yards which was doing a special event with Vida Fitness that allowed us to go to their pool afterwards. As part of my return to running progression plan, I ran 30 minutes without stopping ( 2.5 miles / 4.1 km) mostly pain free though I feel like my endurance is completely shot at this point. The pool afterwards was super fun.

 

FRIDAY

Fingers crossed, last physical therapy session slash rest day even though it wasn’t entirely a rest day! 

SATURDAY

Workouts are better with friends and Saturday it was all about my friend and new mama Bianca! First we took a 60 minute Flywheel City center Class at 9AM.

At 4PM, our friend Brian was teaching his very first class at Bhatki Yoga.

And in the evening, Bianca had a bunch of her girlfriends over for bites and drinks. So yeah, super fun Bianca filled day!

SUNDAY

LONG(ISH) RUN SUNDAY Not exactly a long run but I signed up for the Race for the Cure 5K organized by the Four Seasons on September 14th with the Pacers team. Sunday morning, we had a training run, and I actually ran to the Four Seasons to add a little bit of mileage for a total of 7 km / 4 miles which I am counting as run # 1 for week 1 of my new marathon training plan: cramming for Berlin in 6 weeks.

Bilan de la semaine: For my last week of run-to-recovery progression, I ran 23 km/ 14 miles, took two spin classes AND a yoga class.  And I was all about the run groups this week …. it was nice to make my semi triumphant return 😉

What I’m watching/reading/listening to: Former President Barack Obama just shared his summer reading list on Instagram and I happened to be reading one of the books he recommended, Stephanie Land’s maid.  Such a good read, I really found myself rooting for Stephanie and (spoiler alert) I’m so glad she finally got a break, though I know there are many hard-working single moms out there who never do and never get out of this vicious cycle of being a working class poor!

What I’m eating/drinking: I’m still all about the buratta-tomatoes combo! 

What I’m looking forward to on week 12: You know how they have that Couch to 5K program? I actually used it to train for my very first 5K. Well, I’m sort of on a 5K to marathon plan right now… I was a little disappointed that my =PR= DC Distance Training Program coaches were not more helpful in steering me towards a plan to cram for marathon training into 6 weeks. I mostly came up with it on my own with lots of internet research and I really hope it’s good enough. I’m both excited and completely freaked out to get started! And I most likely will not be signing up for this training program in the future ….

Have you ever had to recovery from an injury right before a race like this? I’d love to hear about it (especially all feel good, I did it type of stories!!) and, as usual. I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. Have a great week!

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 10

Greetings from Utah! I spent most of the week in Logan, Utah attending the SmallSat conference at Utah State University. This was my third time so I’m starting to know the drill 😉

MONDAY

The first run in Logan was a little bit frustrating. I managed to find a little time after our press conference and did half an hour on the hotel treadmill alternating 2:30 min walk / run. I couldn’t figure out where the distance was indicated so I have no idea how much I ran though I estimate around 3.2 km / 2 miles.

TUESDAY

One of my colleagues told me about a trail right behind the hotel so I thought I’d take my runs outside for the rest of the week. The morning air was crisp and cool, perfect running weather. I ran 3.6km alternating 2 minute walk / 3 min run on the Logan River Trail.

WEDNESDAY

I picked up the Logan River Trail where I left it the day before, driving to Rendez-Vous Park then running 4 km / 2.4 miles alternating walk 2 minutes and run 3 minutes, same as on Tuesday. I decreased my pace from 8:40/km to 8:00/km and that felt good to see.

THURSDAY

Last run on the Logan River Trail 😭 I ended up going for a little more than the 30 minutes I’m supposed to do, running 5.5 km / 3.4 miles alternating 1:30 minutes walk and 3:30 minutes run. Funny how 5+ kms feel like a “long run” right now.

FRIDAY

Back in D.C. and back at physical therapy! We went over my progress with Jared and he encouraged me to keep up with the return to running progression plan and hopefully get to the 3x 30 minutes with no walking at the end of the week and resume training, progressively increasing my mileage. It’s going to be really hard to catch up though, obviously 🙄

SATURDAY

I had such an amazing class at Cyclebar. It was a 2000s themed class and I had had such a stressful week it just felt so good to let it all out on the bike. I *never* finish in the top 10 in class ! I really needed to end the week on a good note like this 😉

SUNDAY

LONG RUN SUNDAY REST DAY. I would have loved to go for a run but I forced myself to take a rest day. Besides, I had to stay home while I was getting a new AC unit installed. That was part of what caused all my stress this week. My AC died and it wasn’t an expense I had really planned on having this year (after getting a new water heater a few months ago — the joys of home ownership !).

Bilan de la semaine: It felt good to run outside again and have such a great spin class. I’m feeling a little more optimistic at the end of the week than I was at the beginning for sure. With that said, ran 16.3 km total, just a little over 10 miles. Took one spin class for cross training and did some PT strength exercises.

What I’m watching/reading/listening to: Did anyone else LOVE the 90210 reboot ?? I know a lot of people were disappointed that they were playing heightened versions of themselves and not actually their Beverly Hills characters but I thought it was a clever way to do it. For books, I *finally* finished Kamala Harris’ memoir (💤) And read Sweetbitter which I had been meaning to read for quite a while.

What I’m eating/drinking: I’m sad to report that I have NOTHING to show for this week. The food at the conference is better than at most conference but I basically ate free food whenever I could. I did have some decent Utah beers. They’re lower in alcohol which is kinda fun, you can drink more !

What I’m looking forward to on week 11: I’m taking another cyclebar class on Tuesday morning and I’m planning on doing the Shake Shack one mile run as well that day. It will be nice to go back to one of my running groups ! And yes, I’m hoping to be running 30 minutes with any walking by the weekend ….

I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. Have a great week!

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 9

Berlin is less than two months away and I’m barely back to running. Is it time to freak out yet ? Here’s how this week went down:

MONDAY

Kicked off the week at physical therapy. I ran 1 mile on the elliptical and 2.5 on the anti-gravity treadmill (alternating 3 minutes at 4 walk speed and 2 minutes at run speed 6).  

TUESDAY

Those who can’t run, spin? Or something like that… I went back to Cyclebar to take Shane’s class.

And apparently, since I can’t run, I spin and trivia! My friend Nickolas is living the dream and moving to Canada. We got together at Crimson to say goodbye, and apparently play trivia too. And it was super fun actually…

WEDNESDAY

Physical therapy AND last day of July. Time to look back and it’s not really pretty… at least it’s not where I should be and yes, I am absolutely freaking out because i am SO far behind right now and it still hurts when I run 😦

At physical therapy, I started with a 1.1 miles warm-up on the elliptical, followed by strength exercises and 2.7 miles on the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill. I increased my running speed from Monday to 6.5 (run) and 4.2 (walk) and decreased my alternating walk time to 2:30 min walk/2:30 min run. That rounded me up 105 km / 65.6 miles for the months of July, down from 190km/118 miles in June. I’m trying really hard to be ok with this, and focus on recovery so that I can run pain free soon. 

THURSDAY

I kicked off the day with a Hips & Hamstrings yoga class at MINT Dupont Circle. I didn’t love the class (the instructor was a little scattered) but I should do workouts like this more often. And it was my first time at the MINT Dupont Circle gym and it is SO nice! I’ll have to try another class with another instructor soon.

In the evening, I did my 30 minute “return to running progression” exercise, alternating 3:00 minutes walk with 2:00 minute walk for a total of 3.7 km/ 2.3 miles before meeting my friends Nicole, Calla and Katya for dinner at Hanumanh. Hanumanh is the new bar-focused restaurant concept from the team behind Thip Kao and it was great to try SO many delicious Laotian dishes and catch up with Katya who just got back from 3 months traveling in Asia (though she didn’t go to Laos!). 

FRIDAY

I ran outside !!

Alternated 2:30 minute walk / run for 36 minutes / 4.3 km before dinner at Meiwah near my office with Kaoru and Cecilia. I kinda love having fun evenings with friends again. Though I also can’t wait for it to end and I can return to having to run 😉 

SATURDAY

I hadn’t taken an Orange Theory class in over two weeks so I thought why don’t I do a 90 minute class… I haven’t really been able to do the 90 minute classes because they’re always on Saturday and I have my long runs on Sunday… but since I have no long runs planned for this week, I figured why not? I used the strider for the first time instead of the treadmill and made the rookie mistake of not picking up a floor card so I ended up not having a spot on the floor / rower and had to cut the class in half. They’re not going to count the class and I still got a great workout on the strider so it’s ok but that was a bit of a bummer.

SUNDAY

LONG RUN SUNDAY REST DAY!

Bilan de la semaine: So I’m back to running, a little. At least I can log in a few miles right? Ran 12.2 miles / 19.7 km this week, which is a little more than last week. Two “runs” were on the anti-gravity treadmill during physical therapy and two were on my own, on the treadmill in my building and outside! For cross training, I did a spin class, yoga and half of an Orange Theory class.  

What I’m watching/reading/listening to: I finished Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, my first Kindle read!!

First, but not last… I’m taking my kindle with me to Utah and hoping to read Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler and Modern Lovers by Emma Straub while I’m on the road (I need some light travel reads!) And I finish them both I have two more books queued up AND they won’t take up any additional space in my luggage… kinda loving this and wondering why I didn’t get a Kindle sooner. Or, you know, a library card. Can’t believe I only got one last year!! 

What I’m eating/drinking: I had a couple of great meals with friends this week and the highlight was absolutely Hanumanh. I love that when we were deciding where to get together and “oh, why don’t we try the new Laotian restaurant” became the concensus we had to ask which one since there are now multiple options for Laotian restaurants in DC.

The red curry was absolutely amazing and I loved the meatballs (they were $6 during happy hour too !)

What I’m looking forward to on week 10: I’m in Logan, Utah for a work conference most of the week. I’m bringing my resistance bands in my suitcase and my running shoes. Hoping to go through week 2 of the return to running progression plan and end on a walk 1:30 minutes/run 3:30 minutes note. Trying to have realistic expectations though… my time won’t really belong to me during the conference… also, the altitude can be rough! 

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 8

Not going to lie, it was a difficult week. The temperatures dropped significantly and I just really wanna go out and run with my friends. I’m not a great runner to start with so falling behind like this is really freaking me out. But freaking out isn’t gonna help me get better so trying to focus on more positive thoughts and recovery! And I did get to feel active again this week which was nice.

MONDAY

OK. So last week I was resting and feeling sorry for myself. That ended today. I set up a nice little space for me to do my PT exercises (currently foam rolling, single leg squats and lateral walks with resistance bands) and decided to add some arms work. I found this 30-day arms challenge on health.com and will be doing those in addition to PT everyday.

Chloe loves my new set up and really wanted to be involved for moral support 😉

TUESDAY

I went through my PT exercises + 3×10 reps of bicep curls + isometric hold and 3×10 reps triceps pulses + hold. I had my second PT section, which started with 6 minutes on a bike, went through my current exercises and added three more: single leg 3-way HIP with resistance bands, lunges with 5 lbs weights, and non-weighted side lunges. I felt really good after the session and more optimistic than I have in a while! 

In the evening, instead of attending Pacers Navy Yards’ neighborhood shake shack run I went to Eaton D.C. for BYT’s bookswap with Nicole. Such a fun concept for an event! Here’s what Nicole and I picked up (she took Under the Udala Trees to read first):

ps: do you know about my Read & Rosé instagram account? Now you do 😉

WEDNESDAY

Today I added dumbbell overhead presses to my arms workout. I’m using 7 lbs weights. Since I felt good after Tuesday’s PT session and my limping is minimal now, I decided to do my first “Return to Running Progression” run: thirty minutes on the treadmill alternating 4:30 minutes fast walk and 30 seconds running. It didn’t feel great but it did feel good to log two miles into my running journal. It’s something …

In the evening (feels weird to be having non-running evening activities again!) I went to Audi Field to see the friendly match between D.C. United and l’Olympique de Marseille. I guess DC United played its reserve team and the game felt really lop sided (1-8 for Marseille). Also. It rained. Slash poured. That wasn’t on the forecast and definitely put a damper on our beer garden happy hour beforehand…

THURSDAY

I did some of my exercises in the morning, knowing I would do more at Physical Therapy later. At PT I did 1.5 miles on the elliptical, more exercises, and then 20 minutes on the anti-gravity treadmill, alternating 3 minute walk and 2 minute run. That’s the most I ran in a while and while it felt super weird I’m SO excited to have another 3 miles to log into my run journal.

FRIDAY

I felt pretty good on the bike at PT so I decided to take a spin class at Flywheels.

SATURDAY

PT exercises + hammer curls for the strong arms challenge. Coach Tammy had a few people over at her place for brunch to celebrate her 10 year DCversarry and later went to see 10 Things I Hate about You with Calla at the Shakespeare Theater. But it was the teenage film version with Julia Stiles, not the play! And it was SO fun (especially because of bunch of kids in the audience were seeing it for the first time!)

SUNDAY

LONG RUN SUNDAY Ok, not a long run Sunday but at least I ran! Summit to Soul, this awesome active women store in Barracks Row, turned three and they’ve been celebrating all week. It’s one of the first running group I ever went to so I really wanted to join them for their Capitol Hill loop. I cut it short a little to 4km instead of 5, alternating walk and run and managed to meet up with everyone for the group pic on the hill!

Afterwards we had a donut cake back at the store and that was brilliant ! Will run slash walk for donut cake apparently 😉

The rest of Sunday was spent by the pool until I headed over to my friend Philippe for a barbecue.

Bilan de la semaine: So I’m back to running, a little. At least I can log in a few miles right? Ran 7.5 miles / 12 km this week, which is better than nothing I guess. Did lots of good strength exercises through PT and at home and hope to keep a better routine on my own as I get back to marathon training. 

What I’m watching/reading/listening to: For books, I read The Sun Does Shine on my brand new kindle and listened to Kamala Harris’ book The Truths we Hold. Anthony Ray Hinton’s memoir of his wrongful imprisonment for 30 years for three murders he did not commit was devastating and I highly recommend it.

On the same topic, I watched Ken Burn’s Central Park Five documentary which was a great complement to the Netflix series Now They See Us.

What I’m eating/drinking: Nicole and I had dinner at American Son after the the book swap and I *loved* the shishito pepper dish was amazing!!! Closer to home I made this grilled pork chop with caramelized peaches 🍑 and basil (recipe here) and it was amazing and very easy to do on the grill!

What I’m looking forward to on week 9: More Physical Therapy and hopefully a little more running. As I start to feel better I have to remind myself that I can’t increase the duration or intensity of my runs too much if I want to minimize the risk of injury recurrence… but it’s hard!! I want to get back to my training and not feel like I’m soooo far behind.

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 7

We’re 10 weeks away from the Berlin marathon on September 29th and I’ve had a very frustrating week dealing with an injury. Honestly, I don’t have much to report, at least not on the running/training front. The heat wave canceled most of the fun plans I had for the weekend and it actually didn’t matter because I finally did see a physical therapist and I’m not running for the next couple of weeks. What am I going to do with myself?

MONDAY

REST DAY. My leg wasn’t feeling great after Sunday’s not-so-long long run so I decided I would sit Monday out.

TUESDAY

I did 6.7km/4 miles with Ian and Pacers Navy Yards. It was hot and my leg hurt throughout most of the run. Not good 😦

WEDNESDAY

OrangeTheory kicked off “Orange Voyage” with a row heavy workout. Like we spent half the class on the rower which never happens. I actually really liked this workout. My leg didn’t hurt on the rower though it did on the treadmill so I switched to the strider and felt fine. I rowed 5500m!

On the downside, I always have a harder time getting splat points on the rower and I barely got 3 splat points. But I felt like I had a good workout, especially given my limitations this week.

THURSDAY

TRACK DAY REST DAY. As much as my leg felt fine during the Orange Theory workout, it didn’t feel good afterwards and I was still limping when walking. With my first physical therapy appointment scheduled for Friday I decided to take a break. 

FRIDAY

I went to Physical Therapy and did some exercises. I’m basically off running for the next couple of weeks and I’m obviously freaked out and sad and frustrated but trying really hard to tell myself it will be ok. I hate falling so far behind in training. I’m not a good runner, I really can’t afford setbacks like this… But it wasn’t all bad that day. The mini-ragnar relay at DC Brau I was going to participate in was canceled so I didn’t have to feel like I was missing out and I made it to the mall instead to see the amazing celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that landed on the moon.

It was spectacular to see so many people on the mall ! You can see the full video/projection here. It was honestly one of the coolest experience I’ve had in DC since I moved here 14 years ago.

SATURDAY

I had planned to cheer the runners at the Crystal City Twilighter but that was canceled. I did some of my PT exercises. And in sort of keeping with my theme of training for a marathon in Germany I went to a German wine tasting at Weygand Wine Store. Not the same, I know… 

SUNDAY

Spent the day mostly IN my pool. Nothing to report.

Bilan de la semaine: This week felt like the worse. I barely ran 4 miles, did one Orange Theory class… I’m trying really hard to listen to my body and take a break so I can get better as quickly as possible but it’s very frustrating! 

What I’m watching/reading/listening to: Less running means more time for reading! I finished Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsonn which I loved, The Incomplete Guide to Running by Steve Sagal which I also loved and Brooklyn, which I loved as much as I loved the movie.

And I binged on the new season of Queer Eye. Gosh I love that show and it gave me a great excuse to spend a few hours indoors in the air conditioning! 

What I’m eating/drinking: I took Corey to Texas de Brazil for his birthday so we ate all the meats! Otherwise, I was really good about bringing my lunches to work this week, alternating between a feta salad with chickpeas and canned sardines and club sandwich. I made this simple and delicious quick chia seed strawberry jam using a recipe from The Kitchn. I’m planning on eating it with cottage cheese or whole grain waffles for breakfasts next week!

What I’m looking forward to on week 7: Physical therapy and getting better?? I hate feeling like I’m falling so far behind on my training 😦  

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 6

During marathon training you have good weeks and you have bad weeks. This week wasn’t a good week for me. I was actually in quite a bit of pain after last Sunday’s long run and so I spent most of the week trying to take it easy and recover. But it’s sooo hard to take a break! 

MONDAY

So Monday was interesting… starting with torrential rain/flooding and ending with pretty decent running temperatures. Like I mentioned in the intro, I was still a little sour from Sunday’s 14 miler and I have this recurring pain in my upper left thigh that is starting to worry me so I kept it short Monday and ran 5K with Pacers 14th street. We had a huge group for the 3 mile run!

TUESDAY

I hate missing the monthly Track and Shack run but I had a birthday party that evening so I ran a quick 5.3km all by myself like a big girl in the morning. My leg still wasn’t feeling great though 😦

WEDNESDAY

It was one mile benchmark at OrangeTheory and I didn’t want to miss it! I always compare myself to other runners and let it to me and get me down. Wednesday’s benchmark mile helped me remember the only comparison that really matters:

Me in January: 10:45/mile or 6:41/km

Me in July: 9:38/mile or 5:59/km

Of course it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t still find a way to beat myself up over that. Back in April, I ran one of the Crystal City 5Ks at a 9:18/mile or 5:47/km. So I know I’ve made a lot of progress and it’s great to see some concrete results, but I also know I can do better and have to ask myself what held me back during the benchmark… 

THURSDAY

REST DAY.

FRIDAY

It’s Britney b*tch! I had been really itching to take a spin class so when I saw that Christine, one of my favourite instructors, was teaching a BRITNEY themed class at Flywheel Dupont Circle at 8AM, I just couldn’t resist (though it was probably not the ideal “rest my leg” activity)!!

SATURDAY

My bestie Caitlin was in town visiting and helping me celebrate France’s national holiday in style. She’s also training for Berlin but we thought we’d have some fun today. First, we took a special Core Power class on the rooftop of the Pod Hotel in Chinatown. In the afternoon we headed to the Wharf to do some Stand Up Paddleboarding which was super fun.

There’s just something about being on the water on a got sunny day! Also, we worked out our arms and core so I’m totally counting it as cross training.

SUNDAY

A long day that started with my usual 6:30AM long run with PR =DC= DTP. I took a step back since I had barely ran this week and just ran 8 miles. My leg still doesn’t feel great 😦 I actually had company the whole route (we ran along the mall), not from Caitlin who’s much faster and ran with some of the other peeps in the group, but from another girl who had just gotten back from Sweden. We talked running, traveling… it was nice!

After that, we did a little recovery at the pool and then it was on! Full on Bastille Day celebrations starting with one drink at Opaline at the Sofitel, another drink at the rosé garden at the Four Seasons Hotel/ ENO Wine Bar, lots of drinks at the French Embassy and lots of food and dancing at Bistro du Coin. It was an ambitious agenda. I might need to call in sick Monday 😉

Bilan de la semaine: The low mileage (25km / 15 miles) is really frustrating and I’m not 100% sure it actually helped but I couldn’t just stop altogether (could I?). I’m happy I did different activities like SUP-ing, yoga and spinning but I need to get back on track next week.

What I’m watching/reading/listening to: My attempt to read more books by international authors took me to Japan for the second time. Hiromi Kawasaki’s The 10 Loves of Nishino is a quirky  love story told through the eyes of 10 different women who help draw a portrait of a mysterious ladies’ man.

I’m also listening to Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson and really enjoying that. 

What I’m eating/drinking: I had a lovely dinner with Caitlin, Calla and some of Caitlin’s friend at Zeppelin, a new(ish) sushi, yakitori, and izakaya bar  in Shaw. But the highlight was this cute little Bastille Day themed religieuse from Dominique ansel that Caitlin brought on the train with her. It was filled with Nutella so obviously I’m in love. 

What I’m looking forward to on week 7: I hated being forced to take a break this week and I’m looking forward to getting back to a 50+ km mileage week, if my leg allows it. Also, Wednesday is Corey’s birthday and there’s lots of fun stuff in DC planned for 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions.